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Child stars barred from Spain cinema awards

Published on 22/06/2011

Spain's Cinema Academy says it is barring child stars from winning its biggest cinema awards, the Goyas, to shield them from media pressures and heavy responsibilities.

Children under 16 are ruled out of all sections of the grand prize of Spanish cinema, it said, standing apart from other awards such as Hollywood’s Oscars, Cannes’ Palme d’Or and Britain’s BAFTAs.

Shirley Temple famously won a special award at the Oscars for her “outstanding contribution to screen entertainment” in 1934 when she was just six years old.

Spain’s academy decided under-16s were too young to assume certain responsibilities, including the right to cast votes in the Academy which is conferred automatically to winners.

“We are trying to do what is best for them,” a spokeswoman for the Cinema Academy said.

The decision is also aimed at shielding them from too much media pressure, the academy said.

“The Academy believes that the attribution of this prize can provoke in under-16s a series of factors that may impact their professional and personal development,” it said in a statement.

Several minors have already won the Goya.

In the last awards two children, 11-year-old Francesc Colomer and nine-year-old Marina Comas, won the prizes for best new male and female actors for their roles in the film “Pa negre” (Black Bread).